OYM Diederik Wolsak | Forgiveness Process


Dealing with depression, anxiety, and other forms of psychological suffering is difficult. Diederik Wolsak joins Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D. to talk about his healing center and how the forgiveness process helps in the whole healing process. He is the founder and program director of Choose Again Attitudinal Healing Centre that helps people transform their life again, by learning to identify and release the psychological blocks that keep them from living life to the fullest. Diederik himself has been through the dark path of his life and through discovering his process of healing, he is now helping others heal through the painful patterns and return home with a renewed sense of purpose and vitality. Join him in this episode as he takes us deeper into it. 

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The Art Of Healing Through The Forgiveness Process With Diederik Wolsak 

Diederik Wolsak is the Founder and Program Director of the Choose Again Attitudinal Healing Centre. He is the lead facilitator of both the Vancouver and Costa Rica arms of this organization. He is an international workshop leader, public speaker and relationship counselor with years of experience in group facilitation. Diederik’s journey started in 1942 on the island of Java, Indonesia. He spent the first three years of his life in Japanese concentration camps. Many of his core beliefs were developed during that early, potentially traumatic phase. At age eight, he was sent to a foster home in Holland and by the time he rejoined his parents and brothers two years later, he was filled with self-hatred and fear of the world around him. 

This self-hatred, fear and guilt translated into prolonged alcohol and drug abuse until finally, at age 50, he reached that point where he realized that there had to be a better way or there would be no point in continuing his life. While his self-hatred drove him to be a successful businessman and international athlete, it allowed him little joy. Following the fork in the road where something had to change, he entered upon a spiritual path of deep healing. This path eventually led him to a fulfilling career as counselor in private practice. He is a masterful therapist. Every client recognizes immediately that they are being trained to become independent of their counselor, that they are worthy of respect and that they have their answers. 

Diederik is there to assist in finding and removing all blocks to happiness and peace in a most gentle and loving way. Clients also sense that Diederik has been in many of the dark places they see themselves in. He has personal knowledge of deep depression and substance abuse. He has personal experience of what they are going through and has largely transformed his life. However, he will be the first to tell you“I am a work in progress.” 

Diederikthank you so much for joining us here. Its a pleasure. Im excited. Can you tell us a little bit about, without going into the whole long story of your life, which so many people can see in your wonderful YouTube videos? Tell us a little bit about how you got into the work you do and what drives your passion for it? 

There are so many ways of looking at it. The short version would be that for manyears of my life, I was driven by self-hatred and self-loathing. There came a time when I turned around 50 when I said either there has to be a better way or I can finish this short journey around the sun and step outI had a place on Vancouver to Whistler Highway where there was a very short stretch, where there was no barrier. Iyou went through there, then there will be a 2,000foot drop and therell be no risk of a wheelchairI decided to give it oneshot. 

friend of mine had given us A Course In Miracles whichyears earlier I read one line in which was, “Sin is lack of love as darkness is lack of light. I thought thats an amazing statement and I totally agree but then the next line had, “The father, the holy spirit and the son, then I said, “This is not for me.” I threw it away. Two years laterI got to that point where either I was going to finish it or something had to happenI opened the Course again and this time, I did not see the offending language. 

I saw the message and the message that I got from the Course was varied but consistent with all the other major universal, spiritual teachers that I was very familiar with. That is, “This world is a dream. You are the dreamer. Who you have never been affected by who you think you are, by what you think youve done or about what you think has been done to you. In other words, its completely eliminated the possibility of being a victimIve been a veryfaithful victim for a long time, starting with 3.5 years in concentration camps which was a good victim position to begin with, and then continuedbecause I was getting evidence for myself, hatred wherever I went. It’s stunning how effective that idea is. Once I recognize that everything in my life has been chosen by the false self or by the loving self.  

Sin is lack of love as darkness is lack of light.  Share on X

There’s a dynamic that you alluded to which is so powerful which is If you hold a belief, your mind will show you the evidence to prove that belief 

That’s why I love the idea that whatever you have in your life, you have chosen. Thats why our organization is called Choose Again. What Choose Again does not address is that you cannot choose as long as you dont transform your core beliefs. You have no free will. Its the core beliefs that do the choosing for you. Once I recognize that I also recognized that these core beliefs were chosen by me in my case many years agoI had always believed them and never questioned them. I had seen a few psychiatrists who told me I was a hopeless case and get used to it but then I realized, “No. Thats not true. 

I began to understand that theres no such a thing as personality. I began to appreciate that there was no such thing as character and that all this personality, character and who you think you are just inventions. To own that invention joyfully and say, “That a test through some power but also a test to the possibility or the potential to transform these.” That’s what I set out to doI said, “The Course clearly has 365 lessons. My mouth is not too rusty. I can figure it out that’s a year program.” I thought Id give it a year and if it doesnt work, I can always find a spot to drive my car over the road. 

I already knew within a week that my life was changed. It was dramatic how fast that went. After a month or so of doing this work by myself in wonderful solitude, somebody said, “There’s something different about you. Can I come and talk to you about what youre doing? I said, “Absolutely,” and then a few more people came. One person said, Can I give you some money for this? I said, “Yes, wonderful. By the end of the year, I was a therapist, which Ive never been. I dont have any official credentials. It’s been an incredible journey which has brought experiences that I never could have imagined.  

The one thing that pops in my mind to say, to clarify for peopleis that when I say, Im experiencing only those things Ive chosen,” its not to say that I chose to be in the camp or to have a tornado knocked down my house but my interpretation of what that means is what creates my experience of it.  

OYM Diederik Wolsak | Forgiveness Process

Forgiveness Process: People are not willing to take 100% responsibility for everything, but to be responsible for the interpretation is an immensely freeing idea.


You can. If youre ready for it, you can go a step further and say, “Yes. Im also responsible for everything at the deepest level because asBuddhism and a part of Hinduism teach isthis is a dream and Im the dreamerIm choosing this dream. I have no problem taking on 100% responsibility. I invented the camp. Im completely okay with thatTo most people, that is insaneI tend not to go there butIm very comfortable with that idea. What you said is valid because most people are not willing to take 100% responsibility for everything but to be responsible for the interpretation is an immensely freeing idea.  

The critical part for me is Im trying to help people come for therapy or they come with various issues to the journeysdreams or to any kind of spiritual self-help thing is regardless of whether or not I created the camp. If I use your Six-Step Choose Again Process my experience gets better. My life gets better. 

The beauty of the process is that I always take it back in the process called The Earliest Memory. The earliest memory maybe two months ago. Its not genuinely the earliest memory but that may be all youre capable of at this pointthat you do your work at that levelI had clients who said they had memories from in utero and I thought that’s a little steep for me but then I had aexperience where that became cleartoo. 

Things have happened to us what weve done with them is a demonstration of who we think we are and what weve constructed. The architecture of the self is completely self-madeI can undo that at the speed that Im ready to do it at. That can take years, 2 weeks or 1 day. The time it takes to achieve a level of healing that brings joy in your life is however long you choose it to take. How long do I want to be right? As long as I want to be right, that you should not have spoken to me like that, that my father should not have been drinking out or my mother should not have been depressed, then Ill stay there. As soon as I say, I dont want to be right anymore. I’ve been wrong all my life. It is time to admit that Im wrong. How do I know Im wrong? Im not happy. Its that simple.  

Im in pain. If Im in pain, Im in error.” You started that out and within a year, you were a therapist. What doeit progress to? What is the status of your life as a therapist or as aintensive center leader? 

Looking back at it, its been a remarkable experience in that, by the end of the year, I had a full practice and then somebody came to me three years into it and said, I have a very difficult adopted son who has all kinds of issues. He gets kicked out of schoolgets into fights and into drugs. Hes just an allaround bad actor and I dont know what to do with them but here is some money. Can you please take him away?” She wanted me to take him to Costa Rica and I was familiar with Costa Rica at that point alreadyI said, I willbut not one-on-one.” I asked a colleague of mine and we invited five other teenagers. The seven of us set out to spend two months in the jungle, seeing what healing could take place, not for the kids but also for ourselves.  

It was an unbelievable experience of intense confrontation with the self, smaller self mutually, both between the so-called kids and ourselves. One thing that becomes so clear on our work quickly is that, Im doing this work for me. Im not a nice guy. Im not here to help you. Im here to help myself and you bring me that healing.” That was so clearly demonstrated in the two months we spent with those kids. After that, the same person a year later said, “If you wanted to open a center in Costa Rica, Ive sold a house and Im willing to invest $50,000.” I wasnt particularly concerned because we needed a lot more than $50,000 to open a center 

I said, “That’s wonderful. Within a week, we had $250,000. People came from nowhere. Suddenly, one person as much as $100,000, several other $50,000 and a few $75,000. Before we know it, we had $250,000 and that wasnt enough. I went to Costa Rica at age 63, started the center with my daughter and a team of volunteers worked our asses off, transformed the place, which was a complete disaster areaIt’s a large garbage dump and transformed it into an unspeakably beautiful environment high up in the Hills, overlooking a lake, surrounded by rainforest. It’s where are we now do our residential org. 

I remember you say something about the synchronicity there or coming home because that earlier time in your life you were up at about the same elevation with the lake. 

I was born in Indonesia on the island of Java. After the Japanese had invaded Indonesia, my parents have fled into the mountains hoping to escape the Japanese and that place where I was born. Iwas 800 or 2,500 feet on a lake in the tropics. When I discovered this place 2,500 feet on the lake in the tropics, same smells, same sums, it was like us seven coming home. 

How often are you there and what a schedule do you run of having whatever you call it? Intensives or retreats there? 

Whatever you have in life, you have chosen.  Share on X

I used to be there permanently with very frequent trips to Canada and the States and Europe for teaching a workshop but I was based there. Years ago, I was diagnosed with lung cancer, as well as a host of all the wonderful things and that could have stopped working seven days a week, 12 to 14 hours a day. I took off and went to VictoriaStacey, my partner and I yield to cancer, but that all the issues came up as I mentioned to you. There’s a number of messages that this body has worn out andstart treating it differently. The crazy thing is that’s still at the back of my mind if I can lick what I have right now, then Ill be back to being 50 years old. No, youre 79 and behave yourself accordingly,” is the message I keep getting. 

The center is there 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It has a phenomenal staff. Our staff is all exclients. They are people who have come through the program and who, through their dedication, to their healing, immediately recognized that themost efficient way to heal is to help others and tbe involved in the healing of other people. The staff that was there. They come and go but pretty much permanenthave thousands of hours of training with virtually any kind of psychological model that you can bring to the table from schizophrenia to bipolar, to borderline, to chronic depression. 

Mostly they’re to issues where theyre having a little bit of trouble like a relationship in marriage. I dont know how to deal with my teenagers. Ive lost my second job in two years. What can I do about that? Practical things that seem unsolvable, whereapeople are told, “That’s who you are. Thats your personality. For them to come and recognize, thats not true. I can be anything and anyone I wish to be. People come for anywhere from a week to, the longest has been several years and that was a schizophrenic person who had nowhere else to go.  

It was either she would come and stay with us for free or shell be locked up in an institution that wed never see her again. There’s nothing in my mind. If I can help anyone avoid what I call the curse of pharmaceuticals, I will do that. Having said that, I quickly want to say that pharmaceuticals have a role to play. If Im about to hang myself and you say, “Here’s a pill. It’ll make you feel better. I will take that pill but not as a life sentence. I will take it in order to calm down my mind, to give me some space, breathing room and then to get to work and recognize in the long run, “I do not need medication.” They have a vital role. 

Several questions are bubbling up for me. One of them is how do people find out about that center in Costa Rica and how do they get in touch with you where is most of your referral flow for that? Is that all coming through the ChooseAgain.com website?  

It comes partially through the website and mostly through the videos that we have on YouTube. People see those. We have a number thatis extremely frequently watched andhavea lot of information but 80% is the word of mouth. People that have been there and tell their friends or their friend notice. If you go there with your partner and all your friends know youre in trouble but you come back holding hands and clearly being in love with the self and each other then that piques interest. 

It’s word of mouth. We’ve always been bad at mainstream marketing. I have no idea how to do and it never appealed to me. There are people that are good at that but we are not. It’s funny we had a client a long time ago who wrote a little newsletter and one of the items was about me, How to Run the Most Successful Healing Center on the Planet and Not Make Money. That seems to be our specialty. Weve never been driven by money.  

The website isChoose-Again.com and one of the primary tools is your SixStep Choose Again Forgiveness Process. Can you tell us a little bit about that? 

It’s a tool that organically grew in the first year of my work. We had an older process that we used that we modified to arrive at this one. This one is simple and straightforward. The ego finds it almost unbearabldifficult but it starts with the first step, which is to acknowledge that youre upset, which means, Im not at peace.” For most of us, including me, that is only 23.58 hours a day. To acknowledge is difficult. Were not in the habit. Were saying, “It’s not a big deal. She always talks like that. It’s going to rain today. Why wouldnt it?” We ignore upsets at our peril because an upset has an unbelievably healing purpose. To recognize that Im upset is the first step. 

The second step is probably the most radical of the process and that says, “It’s about me. Its not about my mommy dadmy siblings, my teacher or the concentration camps. Its just about me 100% unquestionably. Most people say, “Interesting but, and then they come up with all the exceptions but you cannot make an exception. This is one step that is absolute. If youre not going to take it, thats perfectly fine but if Im not willing to take it then I rejoin the ranks. 

You dont need to go in the other four. 

You stay in your wonderful victim positionThere you are. Its your fault. If you dont want to do that, then step two is a breakthrough. The next step is, “To recognize what Im feeling at the moment. For me, that was very difficult because I had only two feelings. That was rage and numb partially because I drank and did a lot of drugs in those days but also because I didnt allow myself to feel and that goes right back to the drugs. 

I designed a feeling sheet, which has some 64 feelings on it, which we use and I used to use religiously until I learned how to feel. That took me a little while and to maybe not surprised but Ive recognized that a lot of people are not particularly aware of their feelings. Why is that important? Because the feeling is chosen by belief. Each belief that I have chooses feelings. It could be that one belief chooses different feelings and when you go through the process, you come out with that belief. It could also be that there are several beliefs in one upset. 

The first thing you do then is to say, “What am I feeling? What is the strongest feeling right now? Is that a familiar feeling? The answer is yes because I dont make new feelings. Any feeling I have now is a replay of what I felt from the age of 0 to 8. It’s a familiar feeling, then I say, “Take that feeling and allow it to walk you back to when you were a little boy or a little girl. What was happening? Somebody did or said something around you and you at that moment chose this feeling. You made up something about yourself. What do you think that was? 

Almost without fail, I would say 95% of the time, people will go to an early memory and immediately recognize what it was. Now I know the belief that chose that feeling is you name it. Im not good enough,” is an incredibly common one for everyone on the planet. Im not loved. I dont belong. I have no right to be here. Whatever I do, I will never be successful. It will never be enough. Those are pretty classic core beliefs that we walk around with. 

Forgiveness is not so much of a given for what Ive done or what anybody else has done. It is forgiveness for that belief. I forgive myself for believing this because its not true.” The idea does forgiveness, It’s not the ego I. It is the third part of the mind. The third part of the mind is the loving selfthat has never been touched, never been affected, hasn’t changed and is simply waiting for me to welcome it back again. That is the part that does the forgiveness. 

The decision-maker which is the second part of the mind is the one that has to choose to do that. The first part of the mind is the ego which is the set of beliefs, the construction we call the ego or we call Timothy. The forgiveness, God forgive me for believing that Im not good enough. That is not true,” says the loving selfYou are good enough. It doesnt matter what you do or what youve done. You are good enough, whether youre a dishwasher or the president of the United States, you are good enough. You have nothing to prove. 

OYM Diederik Wolsak | Forgiveness Process

Forgiveness Process: Things have happened to us, what we’ve done with them is a demonstration of who we think we are, what we’ve constructed.


When people hear that their worth is intrinsic, first of all, they reject it out of hand and then I say, “Close your eyes for a minute. How would it feel if that was true? How would it feel if the value you have is an intrinsic value which cannot improve, you cannot decrease it?” Absolutely without failtheir fat face lights up and say, “That would be incredible. That’s how youre going to live. The last step is thelast forgiveness. Second forgiveness is to forgive me for forgetting that who I have never been touched, has never been affectedno matter what happened, no matter how deeply traumatic society calls my early youth, that can have no effect on me unless I chose it and the I that chose that effect is the I were transforming. That’s the process. 

That whole ability to identify the belief system that I chose, that I download and then question it and see the false nature of it is key to a whole series of works like this. Yours is this wonderful, simple process. Its so similar to a host of others. Its a delight to find yet another person whos teaching it from a slightly different perspective, the same basic dynamic. This is how we function as human beings. Were creating our experience of life and were doing it every time we know we experience tension or negative emotion. We could use it as the wakeup call that says, “Tim, your thoughts are off the mark. Choose again.  

Maybe not turning your thoughts off the market. Your thoughts are telling you something about you that’s not true. 

The belief is false. 

Youre mistaken. Never ever make yourself wrong. If Im not willing to do a process, Im not willing to do a process right now. That will not affect who I am either. I wont feel very good for a while. It has happened. Believe it or not. Even after 25 years of doing this, that I still have moments where I dont want to process it. I want to be rightI hearthat voice and I hear myself laughing at the same time but theres such a block. Theres such an addiction. 

Theres a wonderful video available with you and Gabor MatéHe says, I was over at Diederik’s place and I learned this stuff then my wife didnt pick me up from an airport and I spent three days pouting. It’s a choice and its okay. What we often tell people is, “Choose to be gentle with yourself as soon as you can, even in those times where youre not willing to pick up a tool and resolve the issue at a fundamental level. Let yourself be aware that youre okay even when youre not feeling great. 

There is a very distinct but fine line between being gentle and being indulgent. Indulgent means, Im going to sit in this. I deserve to feel this. I have a right to feel this. Gentle means, “Im not somehowfor some reason, prepared to heal this right now. That’s okay. Ill do it tomorrowIll do it five minutes from nowIll do it next week but Im going to get around to it. Right nowIm not willing. Thats okay. Don’t justify it. Dont say I have a reason to feel this. That is the differenceI never justify how I feel, but sometimes Im not immediately jumping into a process. 

If I argue for my limitations, they are mine.  

That can be very convincing. 

I tend to believe it because it comes from a good source, me, I think I know. That whole idea of being gentle with myself, Sylvia Boorstein, a Jewish Buddhist grandmotherly type would put her hand over heart-space whenever shes upset and talk to herself gently and say, Sylvia, sweetheart, youre in pain. Take afew deep breaths. Calm down. We’ll look at whats going on and then well decide what to do. If I try to act from that pain state, even when Im deciding Im right and I dont want to do this, then I canbeat myself up good. 

I’ll get more evidence. Remember Einsteins question, “Is this a benevolent universe?” The answer is yes but it’s been benevolent in a way that people dont recognize its benevolentFrom my point of view is it keeps sending me the same pain until I recognize this is not pain. This is an offering a feeling. I need to change my mind about what is being offered here. Its Im not suffering. Suffering is my interpretation and once I get that, then I can say, “Who’s the I interpreting that I have to transform? OtherwiseI got the same interpretation.  

The architecture of oneself is completely self-made.  Share on X

One of my favorite teachers is Dr. Michael Reiss and hes probably not the first one to say it but he talks about it this way, “The purpose of pain is to make my ears grow so I can listen to what I need to change. Guy Finley will say that, The lessons I need to learn in life, right into my life on the back of the events I dont want. If I reject the event, I lose the lesson. 

They’ll keep coming. That’s the beauty. They’re all replays of something that happened many years ago. It’s the same thing over and overuntil you say, get it. Ive got to deal with this.” The healing is almost immediate. Often, not permanent. Often the relief is temporary because the belief is powerful. We often compare it to if youre in Costa Rica and on our property, its 90% rainforest, 10% is where the buildings are and theres a bit of area of grass but itmostly rainforest. If you want to make a path in the rainforest, you need a strong arma very sharp machete and you can make a path. If you come back a week later, that path has gone. You wont find it. 

It’s the same with his workthe egos neuropathways are like a twelvelane highway that every thought automatically runs on and the new pathway that you and I are making together is that little path in the rainforest. If Im committed to my healing, I will turn that little path in the rainforest into a 12lane highway. I will neglect the ego’s neuropathways, they will noturn into the rainforest. After a while of doing this work, you will notice and Ive noticed that Im sure you have to. I suddenly reacted lovingly where before I would have been irritated or annoyed. This time I looked at it in love and had a wonderful time. Thats the new highway. 

There are also times where I did a lot of workI got pretty good at being calm and then I get triggered. If Im honest and I look at it, I went back to camp and slept for a couple of weeks and the forest overgrew and the ego pathway has opened up again. 

Im glad you said that because this is not a fix. People expect and were so living in a society of fixes. Give me a pill, line of cocaine, joint, glass of wine and everything is fine. Thats what were used to. Were not used to saying, “This will take a while. We’re going to make progress. That’s inevitable. There’s a wonderful line in A Course In Miracle that says, “Retrogression is temporary. You do have setbacks. I do but it’s always temporary. Not only that but thelevel of comfort which before was at a minus 40, the comfort zone where I thought I should live over time has been raised to a plus 5. It never goes down to minus 40 anymore. It now goes from a or a 10 down to a 5 and say, “Work to be done.” The fluctuation gets narrower.  

I think about the idea of muscle memory and we tell people, “When you started to throw a ball, you werent very good at it but if you practice, eventually your body gets to have muscle memory. I finished talking toan integrative psychiatrist who talks about how ridiculous it is that we teach children at 3, 4 and 5 years old to wash their face and handsbrush their teeth and take a bath on a regular basis. We dont teach them mental and emotional hygiene. There are these specific tools we can useand we should be using them every day to clean up the system or in your analogy, to clear more of the path in the rainforest. If we do that, we get the results. If we dont, we get the other results, we get the auto process. 

That’s because were so used to behavior modification. We think if we only behave well, were okay but that puts enormous strain on the inner system that were behaving well and goes against who think I am and that becomes impossible. For a little 3 or 4-year-old that already hates himself to take care of his body by washing his hands, washing his face, taking showers is an effort. If we taught that same little 3.5 and 4-yearold who they are in truth, donetaking a showerbrushing your teethand washing your face is automatic because its a loving thing to do but in our society and our way of mainstream therapy has reversed cause and effectTo look at the behavior and think you can change the behavior and thereby get a different result is from my experience is just absolutely insane. How many people buy gym memberships ithe first week of January and how many are still going two weeks later? You’re going against your core beliefs. You can only do that for a while then it becomes unbearable.  

Rewriting those core beliefs dismantling the negative ones. One of the things I like about your Choose Again SixStep Forgiveness Process is that contrary to what a lot of people think that the old long-term therapy was the psychodynamic, psychoanalytic rather than going back and digging through my childhood, what Im doing is Im living my life now. When something comes up and I notice Im upset, I use the process. If that process takes me back to two weeks ago and a core belief I downloaded back, then I go there. If it takes me to twenty years ago, I go thereI go to whatever it is. Thats up in my mind at the moment thats got that energetic resonance with the false belief thats driving this and its so practical that it stays right at whats happening with me right now. 

I love our mutual understanding of our work. The additional beauty is that clients immediately know that the message they got from me and from everyone within the organization is, “You dont need me. Im only here to tell you there is a door. Im here to show you how I opened the door and thats it. Youre learning everything you need to learn. One of the reasons for writing my book is because I recognize that 1,000 people can come to the center in a year but another one million will never go anywhere because they dont have the fundsavailability and cant leave their family or the job. For them, this process is doable by themselves. Thats how I designed it. 

OYM Diederik Wolsak | Forgiveness Process

Forgiveness Process: The time it takes to achieve a level of healing that brings joy in your life is however long you choose it to take.


You reminded me of your book. I thought, “What kind of an interview am I? I read the bookhave it on Kindle and have all kinds of things highlighted. I thought, “When we do this, I have to ask them about this story or that story. I got excited having you here that I forgot all about that. It is a wonderful book. I highly recommend it. What year did that get published?  

There’s a book that I read every day and I make notes on itits 2018.  

The title of the book is Choose Again: Six Steps to FreedomWe havethe idea that you purported. Thats what I love so much about this. A lot of my favorite teachers have put so much stuff out there on the internet for freeHere are the steps and the tools. That’s what youve done with this book. Its a beautiful representation of, “First, heres the sixstep processand then here’s the chapter for each of the steps. Here are some stories. Here are some actual descriptions of how people have used this in their lives, how youve used it in your life. I highly recommend the book. It’s delightful. 

Did you have some questions? You said you had something. 

I was going to have Diederik tell us about this story or that story. One of them is this elderly client that you saw many years ago. Its from page 111 in the book. He was on twelve medications and it quickly became apparent. Were not going to be able to access any true feelings when he was on all of those because it was like a dark blanket ofstuff on him. That’s one of the things that Im very glad you said it the way you did. Medications may have a purpose, like a cast for a broken arm but if I leave that cast on there too long, its not helping anymore. The arms going to atrophy and thats the thing that happens so often. 

There’s a gentleman who began the Same Here Global Movement, SameHereGlobal.org. He has a story like that, where he had a mental and emotional collapse. They tried to look for physical problems. There werent any and the first time he went to a doctor, he left with five medications. Several years laterhed been through every medication they have. I think they said over 50 medications. It wasnt until he ran into a therapist who told him the kinds of things that you would tell him, “There’s more to this than taking pills. Why dont you take a breath? Why dont you look inside a little bit?” His life opened up again.  

The challenge is that people, most of the timedo feel better on medication. What theyll never achievewould never reach or where theyll never land is in the state of true joy on medication. It’s always described as coping. Im managing well. Im managing my anger and fear. I dont want to manage anger or fear. I want to look at the I thats afraid and that gets angry. I want to transform that I. “I used to be addicted to anger. I was angry all the time. 

I was sharing with my partner when I was eight when I was sent to a foster home in Holland. Within a day, I was physically fighting the entire school. They would surround me at recess and I was this little boy of eight years oldfighting with every single person who would come within 10 feet of me. That was my selfhatred attracting immediate evidence. Fast forward forty years later, Im in the army. On the first day in the army in the barracks, I had 200 people after me. It’s unbelievable. Ive never in my experience with others see a similar overwhelming attraction of self-hatred. People ask me, “How did they even know you? I dont know how they knew me but they knew me. 

The most efficient way to heal is to help others, to be involved in the healing of other people.  Share on X

It’s very useful for me because were reading this in a slightly different format. When youre saying that, “Igoing to see the evidence that helps prove the false belief or the negative belief that I hold about myself. That slight twist on the same dynamic that we talk about in some of our other work that I have the infinite capacity to choose the focus of my conscious awareness in each moment. It’s that focus of conscious awareness in each moment that creates what I experiencemy experience of life. Along comes, Diederik and he says, “On top of that if Im holding a negative belief, I am going to see the evidence that proves me right.” 

Over and over.  

Sometimes in mystical ways, like you said, “How do all these people know that Im such a hateful person? 

Its mindblowing. Its so interesting how it works now. Part of my story is not only was I have a borderline personality but I also had a fair degree of autism. In schoolI was kicked out of every class within five minutesI was sent to three different schools and my parents didnt know what to do with me scholastically. If I look back at it, I never knew why I was kicked out. I blurted out something. I didnt know what it was. Ill tell you one little story. Im not sure whether its in the book or not but its priceless. 

Years ago, I was doing deep meditation. In that meditationI had a loving memory and I couldnt place the details of the memory but it was an experience of acceptance. It was extraordinarilrare for me for the first many years of my lifeI went back into meditation. I was in grade eight and a German class. My teacher who was a brilliant teacher, fluent German said something and I didnt hear him. He said something again and I didnt hear him then I felt this hand on my left shoulder and he says, “Das ist genug Elise,” which is German for, “Thats enough Elise. What was happening? I was whistling Für Elise in class without knowing it because I was autistic. Every other teacher kicked me out. He accepted it and welcome itHe does defuse it with love and acceptanceIts rare that we have that.  

Theres alovely story, I forget the name of the woman but shes talking about a very similar thing. She was in class and struggling to get things right to be a good student. The teacher decides to have a lesson on prepositions. She says, “Here’s the box. What’s your relationship to the box? The student is thinking, “How can I be related to a box?” Im related to my mother. Every question the teacher askedthe student was answering from this very literal interpretation. The story is beautiful. If you cant, as the teacher understand theres a disconnect in trying to reach the connection, then you throw the student outyou ridicule him or her, or you will assume that they have a negative intention. 

That’s exactly what happened. Im the only person that I know was down at grade eight three times. They failed me twice and the third time they failed me, finally, my mother took my side which never happened. It was always, “The teachers are right. I dont want to hear about it.” This time, she went to the school director and went over my grades. The principal said, “Yes, his grades are passing, but we dont like him. 

What’s an aspect of either the work youre doing or projects that youre starting that I havent even asked you about yet that we should include here before we wrap up? 

What we can include is that we teach workshops in the South of France every September. In September 2021, we have three workshops in a wonderful place. I dont know if youve heard of Rennes-le-Château. It became famous through the Da Vinci Code. Thats where it started. A beautiful Medieval town on the hill and were right below at the foot of the hill. We do three oneweek workshops there in September 2021, 2 in English and 1 in Dutch because I was Dutch and I still try to speak it even though people laugh when I speak it. Those are fun to go to. Theyre incredibly intense and theyre great opportunity for people to see a part of the world that they may not be familiar with, particularly with the COVID lockup. My ego is quite eager to have a different experience from being in my officeIm looking forward to going. 

Is there information about that on the Choose-Again.com website?  

OYM Diederik Wolsak | Forgiveness Process

Forgiveness Process: You are good enough. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. You are good enough.


It took a while to get some clarity on whether its going to be done in 2021, but I think all the signals are on the green. Travel is opening up so weve decided to go ahead and do it. 

The place in Costa Rica is open. 

We’re already receiving clients. There’s something about it. Keep in mind that youre surrounded by rainforests. If you havent been to the rainforest, that is an experience that cannot be described. Theres a life force. Everything is alive in the forest. It’s never quiet. I have fairly severe tinnitus and if you have tinnitus, then you know what it sounds like because thats what the rainforest sounds at night. It’s a constant sound but Ive had people that sit on the porch in the morning after arriving the evening before and say, “This is all I needIm beginning to heal already. It’s a primal healing environment. 

When we isolate ourselves from nature as much as we doit creates problems were not even aware of so thats a wonderful thing. There was another thought that was in my head. Lets see if itll come back. 

Short-term memory is overrated. 

If theres a counselor or a therapist, do you have a special program for that? Do you just invite those people to go to Costa Rica or your other workshopsDo you hold workshops out in British Columbia where you are in Victoria?  

We do and we will again now were opening up again. We teach workshops in the States, CanadaEurope and England, anywhere people will want. If somebody in LA says, “I have 14 or 15 people who would like one of you to come and teach your workshop, well come. From my point of view and its not in our financial interest, but I wanted to make clear that this work is designed to be done by yourself. 

In the beginning, everybody needs help. Everybody needs a teacher. Theres no question about it. Even though we all know the teachers within but most people dont know that. To learn that the teacher is within is what were about. After that, we step back, you know the work. Now I take very few new clients but if I got a new client, the first thing I say, “Have you read the book? If not read the book first, because then were halfway there. If I started with you brandnew and I have to teach you, its going to cost you 100 times what the book costs in terms of finances. 

Keep your money in your pocket. Do your work. Come to us for finetuning. Come to us when youre stuck or you’re in a situation suddenly where you say, I cant do this. Im not ready for this. We’re ready for you. We’re here. Most of the time you can handle these things. One of the things we always start withor I always start with this is telling your client, “Theres nothing wrong with you. Usually, they get upset and theyll say, “Haven’t read my file?” I say, “No, I dont read files. Theres nothing wrong with you. 

Theres another aspect of the book and maybe we cantalk a little bit more for this but I wanted to mention that theres a part where you talk in the book that you sit and listen to people and sometimes, theyre telling these horrible stories. You’re calm and they say, “What’s wrong with you? Arent you hearing this horrible thing that happened to me? You say, “Yes, I hear it but Im not as interested in that as I am interested in your true self, your true loving nature. If you start telling me about that, I might be in tears in a minute. 

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Love still brings me to tears. Theres no question. Stories dont affect me anymore. My biggest challenge in healing was in the area of anger. Anger used to scare the living shit out of me and at times, doesn’t affect me anymore. I now know that if I am angry, which happens once every ten years, if its old guilt, Im projecting on you and blaming you for something that I did. If somebody else is doing the same thing, itcry for love and I look at it with love. I’m not impressed. 

Thank you so much for agreeing to this. Its delightful to meet you and maybe well see you sometime in either France or Costa Rica. 

That will be wonderful. 

Your book is one that I will have in rotation that Ill probably read every year. I have to encourage people to go to your YouTube videos. Youre very generous with those and with your timeI thank you for being so generous with your time with us. 

I want to thank you for the kindred spirit and the shared commitment to our healing. It was a pleasure. 

Thank you. Blessings. 


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About Diederik Wolsak

OYM Diederik Wolsak | Forgiveness ProcessDiederik is the founder and program director of the Choose Again Attitudinal Healing Centre. He is the lead facilitator of both the Vancouver and Costa Rica arms of the organization. He is an international workshop leader, public speaker, and relationship counselor with years of experience in group facilitation.

Diederik’s journey started in 1942 on the island of Java, Indonesia. He spent the first three years of his life in Japanese concentration camps. Many of his core beliefs were developed during that early, potentially traumatic phase. At age 8 he was sent to a foster home in Holland and by the time he rejoined his parents and brothers two years later he was filled with self-hatred and fear of the world around him. This self-hatred, fear, and guilt translated into prolonged alcohol and drug abuse till finally at age 50 he reached that point where he realized that there had to be a better way or there would be no point in continuing. While his self-hatred drove him to be a successful businessman and international athlete, it allowed him little joy.

Following the fork in the road where something had to change, Diederik entered upon a spiritual path of deep healing. This path eventually led to a fulfilling career as a counselor in private practice. He is a masterful therapist. Every client recognizes immediately that they are being trained to become independent of their counselor, that they are worthy of respect, and that they have their own answers. Diederik is there to assist in finding and removing all blocks to happiness and peace in a most gentle and loving way. Clients also sense that Diederik has been in many of the dark places they see in themselves; he has personal knowledge of deep depression and substance abuse. He has personal experience of what they are going through and has largely transformed his life. However, he will be the first to tell you: “I am a work in progress.

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